Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Pop Quiz: Creek Hiker Lives With:

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O.K. Gang, now that you've had a little time to get to know me, it's time for a pop quiz. It's multiple choice with no right or wrong answers and only one question.

Creek hiker lives with:

A) A crazy dog - Last week, I almost had Mabel in the car after our early morning hike. For ages she would sneak away from me as we neared the car, making me rather angry. So, I build her wild run time into my hike. As we get near the car, I lift the bottom of the fence that borders about an acre and a half of city owned land. It's mostly fenced in and Mabel can romp about while I do some power walking along the fence line. I was holding the fence up for her to scamper down the hill and get into the car when I heard something over my shoulder.

Two of the biggest coyotes I've ever seen were running startled out from behind the overbuilt McMansions beside where we park. My first thought was that they were wolves. Miss M sees them as takes off to the west... her instinct was that they would head into the creek and she was right. There is a hole in the fence down there and she met one head on the the two of them took off across the fenced in property. The other hole in the fence is on a busy street! I screamed bloody loud for 7 a.m. to no avail. As they neared the street, I couldn't watch. I turned toward the creek and listened for the sound of screeching tires. Seconds later, I heard Mabel's collar. She was at the fence ready for home like nothing exciting had happened.

B) A thief! Yes, I'm confessing here for the world to see - my dog is a thief. But she only steals from the same dog - Melvin. 97% of the dogs we've met like Mabel. None have been terrified of her and the rest would like to eat her for lunch. And then there's Melvin.

Melvin feels for Mabel utter indifference. Mabel does not cope with this well. It really pisses her off! Melvin lives on a hill just above dirty creek ( the south side of where we hike). He's the type of dog that you can leave on the front porch all day. He won't go more than 20 feet into the creek alone. He won't wander the neighborhood. He just stays on the porch.

Mabel often tries to steal away from me to run up to see him. Since he lives on a cul de sac, I gave up trying to stop her years ago. Some days, Melvin, a chocolate colored, mid-size terrier type, plays with Mabel and all is well.

But most of the time, he simply ignores her. And when he does, she steals a toy from him. She used to bring them to me and when we left, I would drive around and throw the toy back to Melvin, usually to Mabel's dismay.

Recently, she did this; I took the toy back. The following day, she took off for Melvin's and I continued hiking running into several of our doggie friends and their dad. Chloe, the pit bull is one of Mabel's favorite running buddies and there's always a commotion when we run into her and her sisters, Winnie and Abbey. I know I was making enough noise for Mabel to hear us, but she never came. I finally realize she was burying the evidence.

Sure enough, about five minutes later, here she comes, a mound of dirt on her nose!

The next day, we were hiking with Ivey, Uncle Bill and their dog, Baby. They wanted to hike behind the houses across from Melvin's on our way home. I knew Mabel was ripe for another toy and sure enough, she did it right in front of our friends! Only this time, I chased her and found where she buried it! And would you believe, the dumb-dumb was burying it right on top of yesterday's take? I dug up both and took 'em back.

Here are some pictures of my little con artist's haul from this week.
Can you see the evidence? This was two days after she first buried it. I sometimes leave her take hidden for a few days just to make her think she got away with it.
This picture required quite a bit of maneuvering on my part. After I dug the toy up, Mabel snatched it again and ran off. I had to run, get in front of her and take the photo behind my back as I ran (hope you all appreciate my efforts!). It required a it of photoshopping to get my early morning shadow out of the picture.

Here she is headed back toward dirty creek with the toy. In the end, she saw a lizard and lost interest. I grabbed the ball and took it back.

C) A brat - who misses her mommy. Mabel is used to being with me 24 / 7. This work thing is new to her and she is not adapting well at all. This past week, sometime after 1 a.m., she wakes me up trying to get my hand on top of her head! She wants a petting session in the middle of the night.

D) All of the above.


Anonymous said...

Holly, I'm going to have to go with "D". And you love it! lol

My cat does that same 'under the hand' trick when she wants petting. Or throws herself against me - her version of a hug.

Anonymous said...

Oh poor Miss Mabel! Our pups go into withdrawel too when we have to be away. Ellie becomes a thief as well and steals and hides my things all over the house. I spent an hour looking for my checkbook and finally found it under her bed! Carmon

Linda@VS said...

I vote for "D" too. Your girl has her own personality, and that's what makes her so special.

The burying thing is interesting. My mom had a toy poodle that would bury things between the pillows on my mom's bed, then use her nose to push the bedspread back in place. And my sister had a bird dog that once buried half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, ran around the yard in one full circle, then dug up the sandwich and ate it. What's that all about?

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Jackie, Your kitty sounds like quite a character.

Carmon, Let's just hope Ellie doesn't figure out how to shop on the internet with your checkbook!

Velvet, The burying and digging is an interesting phenomenon. My mom's rottie once took a special treat I gave her, buried it, and dug it up again and again and again. Mom and I counted 27 holes in the yard that day.